The March for Rights, Respect, and Fair Food is happening right now. Farm workers and allies are 80+ miles into a 200-mile march to call on Publix Super Markets to join The Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ Fair Food Program.
The Fair Food Program started in 2000 as a join effort between farm workers and allies to secure basic rights, fair treatment, and living wages for tomato pickers in Florida. Up until then, tomato pickers were routinely some of the poorest workers in the United States (those who work for a non-Fair Food company may still be), not guaranteed any rights at all, and regarded as farm machinery.
As a result of the efforts of workers and consumers united by The Coalition of Immokalee Workers farm workers and day laborers who work for participating companies now receive a Fair Food Premium, water, bathrooms, shade to rest in, on-site training regarding rights and a hotline they can call if those rights are violated (all things they did not receive prior to implementation of the Fair Food Program).
The efforts of the CIW have so far secured participation from Yum Brands, McDonald’s, Burger King, Subway, Whole Foods Market, Bon Appetit Management Company, Compass Group, Aramark, Sodexho, Trader Joe’s, and just last year, Chipotle.
So far, Publix Super Markets is refusing to sign the Fair Food Agreement, but the CIW is determined to make enough noise to change that.
The march ends on Sunday, March 17. To find out more and get involved, check out CIW’s Online and Social Media Hub.